High up in the mountains, among the barren rocks with
not a tree or bush, was a little stream, coming out of massive,
unapproachable rock; it was hardly a stream, it was a trickle. As it
came down it made a waterfall, just a murmur, and it came down, down to
the valley, and it was already shouting of its strength, the long way it
would go, through towns, valleys, woods and open spaces. It was going to
be an irresistible river, sweeping over its banks, purifying itself as it went along, crashing over rocks, flowing into far places, endlessly flowing to the sea.* It wasn't getting to the sea that mattered, but being a river, so wide, so deep, rich and splendid; it would enter the sea and disappear into the vast, bottomless waters but the sea was far away, many a thousand miles, but from now until then it was life, beauty and ceaseless merriment; none could stop that, not even the factories and dams. It was really a marvellous river, wide, deep, with so many cities on its banks, so carelessly free and never abandoning itself. All life was there upon its banks, green fields, forests, solitary houses, death, love and destruction; there were long, wide bridges over it, graceful and well-used. Other streams and rivers joined it but she was the mother of all rivers, the little ones and the big ones. She was always full, ever purifying herself, and of an evening it was a blessing to watch her, with deepening colour in the clouds and her waters golden. But the little trickle so far away, amongst those gigantic rocks which seemed so concentrated in producing it, was the beginning of life and its ending was beyond its banks and the seas.
Meditation was like that river, only it had no beginning and no ending; it began and its ending was its beginning. There was no cause and its movement was its renewal. It was always new, it never gathered to become old; it never got sullied for it had no roots in time. It is good to meditate, not forcing it, not making any effort, beginning with a trickle and going beyond time and space, where thought and feeling cannot enter, where experience is not.
19th It was a beautiful morning, fairly cool and dawn was far away still; the few trees and the bushes around the house seemed to have become a forest during the night and were hiding many serpents and wild animals and the moonlight with a thousand shadows deepened the impression; they were large trees, far above the house and they were all silent and waiting for dawn. And suddenly, through the trees and from beyond came a song, a religious song of devotion; the voice was rich and the singer was putting his heart into it and the song rode far into the moonlit night. As you listened to it, you rode on the wave of the sound and you were of it and beyond it, beyond thought and feeling. Then there was another sound of an instrument, very faint but clear.
26th The river is wide and splendid here; it is deep and as smooth as a lake, without a ripple. There are a few boats, mostly fishermen's and a large boat, with a torn sail, carrying sand to the town, beyond the bridge. What is really beautiful is the stretch of the water towards the east and the bank on the other side; the river looks like an enormous lake, full of untold beauty and space to match the sky; it is a flat country and the sky fills the earth and the horizon is beyond the trees, far far away. The trees are on the other bank, beyond the recently sown wheat; there are the green spreading fields and beyond them are the trees, with villages among them. The river rises very high during the rains and brings with it rich silt and the winter wheat is sown as the river goes down; it is a marvellous green, so rich and plentiful, and the long, wide bank is a carpet of enchanting green. From this side of the river the trees look like an impenetrable forest but there are villages tucked among them. But there is one tree, huge, its roots exposed, that is the glory of the bank; there is a little white temple under it but its gods are as the water that goes by and the tree remains; it has thick foliage with long-tailed leaves and birds come across the river for the night; it towers over the trees and you can see it as far as you care to walk on this side down the river. It has the presence of beauty, the dignity of that which is alone. But those villages are crowded small, filthy, and human beings foul the earth around them. From this side, the white walls of the villages among the trees look fresh, gentle and of great beauty. Beauty is not man-made; the things of man arouse feelings, sentiment, but these have nothing to do with beauty. Beauty can never be put together, neither the thing built, nor in the museum. One must go beyond all this, all personal taste and choice, be cleansed of all emotion for love is beauty. The river curves majestically as it flows east,** past villages, towns, and deep woods but here, just below the town and the bridge, the river and its opposite bank is the essence of all rivers and banks; every river has its own song, its own delight and mischief but here out of its very silence, it contains the earth and the heavens. It is a sacred river, as all rivers are, but again here, a part of the long, winding river, there is a gentleness of immense depth and destruction. Looking at it now, you would be enchanted by its mellow age and tranquillity. And you would lose all earth and heaven. In that quiet silence that strange otherness came and meditation lost its meaning. It was like a wave, coming from afar, gathering momentum as it came, crashing on the shore, sweeping everything before it. Only there was no time and distance; it was there with impenetrable strength, with destructive vitality and so the essence of beauty which is love. No imagination could possibly conjure up all this, no deep hidden impulse can ever project this immensity. Every thought and every feeling, every desire and compulsion was totally absent. It was not an experience; experience implies recognition, an accumulating centre, memory and a continuity. It was not an experience; only the immature crave for experience and thereby are caught in illusion; it was simply an event, a happening, a fact, like a sunset, like death and the curving river. Memory could not catch it in its net and keep it and thereby destroy it. Time and memory could not hold it nor thought pursue it. It was a flash in which all time and eternity were consumed, without leaving any ashes, memory. Meditation is the complete and total emptying of the mind, not in order to receive, to gain, to arrive, but a denudation without motive; it is really emptying the mind of the known, conscious and unconscious, of every experience, thought and feeling. Negation is the very essence of freedom; assertion and positive pursuit is bondage.
30th Two crows were fighting, they were viciously angry with each other; there was fury in their voices, both were on the ground but one had the advantage driving its hard, black beak into the other. Shouting at them from the window did no good and one was going to be killed. A passing crow dived in suddenly breaking its flight, calling, cawing more loudly than the two on the ground; it landed beside them, beating its black, shiny wings against them. In a second, half a dozen more crows came, all cawing away furiously and several of them with their wings and beaks separated the two who were intent on killing each other. They might kill other birds, other things, but there was going to be no murder amongst their own kind and that would be the end of them all. The two still wanted to fight it out but the others were telling them off and presently they all flew away and there was quietness in the little open space among the trees by the river. It was late in the afternoon, the sun was behind the trees and the really bitter cold was gone and all the birds, all day were singing, calling and making all those pleasant sounds they do. Parrots were flying in crazily for the night; it was a bit early but they were coming in; the large tamarind tree could hold quite a lot of them; their colour was almost the colour of the leaves but their green was more intense, more alive; if you watched carefully you would see the difference and also you would see their brilliant curving be which they used to bite and to climb; they were rather clumsy among the branches, going from one to the other but they were the light of heavens in movement; their voices were harsh and sharp, and their flight never straight, but their colour was the spring of the earth. Earlier, in the morning, on a branch of that tree, two small owls were sunning themselves, facing the rising sun; they were so still you would not have noticed them, they were the colour of the branch, mottled grey, unless by chance, you saw them coming out of their hole in the tamarind tree. It had been bitterly cold, most unusual, and two golden green flycatchers dropped dead that morning from the cold; one was the male and the other female, they must have been mates; they died on the game instant and they were still soft to the touch. They were really golden green, with long, curving bills; they were so delicate, so extraordinarily alive still. Colour is very strange; colour is god and those two were the glory of light; the colour would remain, though the machinery of life had come to an end. Colour was more enduring than the heart; it was beyond time and sorrow.
But thought can never solve the ache of sorrow. You can reason in and out but it would be there still after the long, complicated journey of thought. Thought can never resolve human problems; thought is mechanical and sorrow is not, Sorrow is as strange as love, but sorrow keeps away love. You can resolve sorrow completely but you cannot invite love. Sorrow is self-pity with all its anxieties, fears, guilt but all this cannot be washed away by thought. Thought breeds the thinker and between them sorrow is begotten. The ending of sorrow is the freedom from the known.
31st There were many fishing boats as the sun was deep in the west and the river suddenly was awake with laughter and loud talk; there were twenty-three of them and each boat held two or three men. The river is wide here and these few boats seemed to have taken charge of the waters; they were racing, shouting, calling to each other in excited voices, like children at play; they were very poor people, in dirty rags but just now they had no cares and loud talk and laughter filled the air. The river was sparkling and the slight breeze made patterns on the water. The crows were beginning now to fly back from across the river to their accustomed trees; the swallows were flying low, almost touching the water.
January 1st, 1962*** A winding stream makes its way to the wide river; it comes through a dirty part of the town made filthy by everything imaginable and comes to the river almost exhausted; near where it meets the big one, there is a rickety bridge over it made up of bamboos, pieces of rope, and straw; when it is almost collapsing, they put a pole in the soft bed of the stream and more straw and mud and tie it up with not too thick a rope and the rope has many knots. The whole thing is a ramshackle affair; it must have been fairly straight once but now it dips almost touching the lazy stream and as you walk across it, you hear the mud and the straw dropping into the water. But somehow it must be fairly strong; it is a narrow bridge; it is rather difficult to avoid touching another coming the other way. Bicycles loaded with milk cans, happily go across it, without the least concern for themselves or for others; it is always busy with villagers going to town with their produce and coming back in the evening to their villages, worn out, carrying something or other, tongs, kites, oil, a piece of wood, a slab of rock, and things they can't pick up in their own village. They are dressed in rags, dirty, ill and endlessly patient, walking, in naked feet, endless miles; they have not the energy to revolt, to chase all the politicians out of the country but then they themselves would soon become politicians, exploiting, cunning, inventing ways and means to hold on to power, the evil that destroys the people. We were crossing that bridge with a huge buffalo, several cycles and the crossing villagers; it was ready to collapse but somehow we all got across it and the cumbersome animal didn't seem to mind at all. Going up the bank following the well-worn sandy path, past a village with an ancient well, you came into the open, flat country. There are mangoes and tamarinds and fields of winter wheat; it is a flat country stretching away mile upon mile till it meets far away, the foothills and the eternal mountains. The path is ancient, many thousand years and countless pilgrims have walked upon it, with ruined temples.**** As the path turns, you catch the sight of the river, between trees in the distance.
It was a lovely evening, cool, silent and the sky was immense, no tree, no land could contain it; somehow, there was no horizon, the trees and the endless flat earth melted into the expanding sky. It was pale, delicate blue and the sunset had left a golden haze where the horizon should have been. Birds were calling from their sheltering trees, a goat was bleating and far away a train was whistling; some village folk, all women, were huddled around a fire and strangely they too had fallen silent. The mustard was in flower, a spreading yellow and from a village across the fields a column of smoke went straight up into the air. The silence was trangely penetrating; it went through you and beyond you; it was without a movement, without a wave; you walked in it, you felt it, you breathed it, you were of it. It was not that you brought this silence into being, by the usual tricks of the brain. It was there and you were of it; you were not experiencing it; there was no thought that could experience, that could recollect, gather. You were not separate from it, to observe, to analyse. Only that was there and nothing else. Time, by the watch, was getting late and, by the watch, this miracle of silence lasted nearly half an hour but there was no duration, no time. You were walking back in it, past the ancient well, the village, across the narrow bridge, into the room that was dark. It was there and with it was the otherness, overwhelming and welcoming. Love is not a word nor a feeling; it was there with its impenetrable strength and the tenderness of a new leaf, so easily destroyed. Pleiades was just overhead and Orion was over the treetops and the brightest star was in the waters.
2nd The village***** boys were flying kites on the bank along the river; they were yelling at the top of their voices, laughing, chasing each other and wading into the river to get the fallen kites; their excitement was contagious, for the old people, higher up the bank, were watching them, shouting to them, encouraging them. It seemed to be the evening entertainment of the whole village; even the starved, mangy dogs were barking; everyone was taking part in the excitement. They were all half-starved, there wasn't a fat one among them, even among the old; the older they were the thinner they were; even the children were all so thin but they seemed to have plenty of energy. All of them had torn, dirty rags on, patched with different cloths of many colours. And they were all cheerful, even the old and ailing ones; they seemed to be unaware of their own misery, of their physical weakness, for many of them carried heavy bundles; they had amazing patience and they had to have it for death was there, very close and so also the agony of life; everything was there at the same time, death, birth, sex, poverty, starvation, excitement, tears. They had a place, under some trees higher up the bank, not far from a ruined old temple to bury their dead; there were plenty of little babies who would know hunger, the smell of unwashed bodies and the smell of death. But the river was there all the time, sometimes threatening the village but now quiet, placid with swallows flying so low, almost touching the water, which was the colour of gentle fire. The river was everything, they occasionally bathed in it, they washed their clothes in it and their thin bodies, and they worshipped it and put flowers, when they could get them, in it to show their respect; they fished in it and died beside it. The river was so indifferent to their joy and sorrow; it was so deep, there was such weight and power behind it; it was terribly alive and so dangerous. But now it was quiet, not a ripple on it and every swallow had a shadow on it; they didn't fly very far, they would fly low for about a hundred feet, go up a little, turn and come down again and fly for another hundred feet or so, until darkness came. There were small water birds, their tails bobbing up and down, swift in their flight; there were larger ones, almost the colour of the damp earth, greyish-brown, wading up and down the water's edge. But the marvel of it all was the sky, so vast, boundless, without horizon. The late afternoon light was soft, clear and very gentle; it left no shadow and every bush tree and bird was alone. The flashing river by day was now the light of the sky, enchanted, dreaming and lost in its beauty and love. In this light, all things cease to exist, the heart that was crying and the brain that was cunning; pleasure and pain went away leaving only light, transparent, gentle and caressing, It was light; thought and feeling had no part in it, they could never give light; they were not there, only this light when the sun is well behind the walls of the city and not a cloud in the sky. You cannot see this light unless you know the timeless movement of meditation; the ending of thought is this movement. But love is not the way of thought or feeling.
It was very quiet, not a leaf was stirring and it was dark; all the stars that could fill the river were there and they spilled over into the sky. The brain was completely still but very alive and watching, watching without a watcher, without a centre from which it was watching; nor was there any sensation. The otherness was there, deep within at a depth that was lost; it was action, wiping away everything without leaving a mark of what has been or what is. There was no space in which to have a border nor time in which thought could shape itself.
3rd There is something curiously pleasant to walk, alone, along a path, deep in the country, which has been used for several thousand years by pilgrims; there are very old trees along it, tamarind and mango, and it passes through several villages. It passes between green fields of wheat; it is soft underfoot, fine, dry powder, and it must become heavy clay in the wet season; the soft, fine earth gets into your feet, into your nose and eyes, not too much. There are ancient wells and temples and withering gods. The land is flat, flat as the palm of the hand, stretching to the horizon, if there is a horizon. The path has so many turns, in a few minutes it faces in all the directions of a compass. The sky seems to follow that path which is open and friendly. There are few paths like that in the world though each has its own charm and beauty. There is one [at Gstaad] that goes through the valley, gently climbing, between rich pasturage, to be gathered for the winter to be given to the cows; that valley is white with snow but then [when he was there] it was the end of summer, full of flowers, with snow mountains all around and there was a noisy stream going through the valley; there was hardly anyone on that path and you walked on it in silence. Then there is another path [at Ojai], climbing steeply by the side of a dry, dusty, crumbling mountain; it was rocky, rough and slippery; there wasn't a tree anywhere near, not even a bush; a quail with her small new brood, over a dozen of them, was there and further up you came upon a deadly rattler, all curled up, ready to strike but giving you a fair warning. But now, this path was not like any other; it was dusty, made foul by human beings here and there, and there were ruined old temples with their images; a large bull was having its fill among the growing grain, unmolested; there were monkeys too and parrots, the light of the skies. It was the path of a thousand humans for many thousand years. As you walked on it, you were lost; you walked without a single thought and there was the incredible sky and the trees with heavy foliage and birds. There is a mango on that path that is superb; it has so many leaves that the branches cannot be seen and it is so old. As you walk on, there is no feeling at all; thought too has gone but there is beauty. It fills the earth and the sky, every leaf and blade of withering grass. It is there covering everything and you are of it. You are not made to feel all this but it is there and because you are not, it is there, without a word, without a movement. You walk back in silence and fading light.
Every experience leaves a mark and every mark distorts experience; so there is no experience which has not been. Everything is old and nothing new. But this is not so. All the marks of all experiences are wiped away; the brain, the storehouse of the past, becomes completely quiet and motionless, without reaction, but alive, sensitive; then it loses the past and is made new again.
It was there, that immensity, having no past, no future; it was there, without ever knowing the present. It filled the room, expanding beyond all measure. 5th The sun comes out of the trees and sets over the town and between the trees and the town is all life, is all time. The river passes between them, deep, alive and tranquil; many small boats go up and down it; some with large, square sails, which carry wood, sand, cut stone and sometimes men and women going back to their villages but mostly there are small fishing boats, with lean dark men. They appear to be very happy, voluble people, calling and shouting to each other though they are all clad in rags, with not much to eat, inevitably with many children. They cannot read and write; they have no outside entertainment, no cinemas etc., but they amuse themselves singing, in chorus, devotional songs or telling religious stories. They are all very poor and life is very hard, disease and death are always there, like the earth and the river. And that evening there were more swallows than ever, flying low, almost touching the water and the water was the colour of dying fire. Everything was so alive, so intense; four or five fat puppies were playing around their thin hungry mother; crows, many groups of them, were flying back to the other bank; parrots were flying back to their trees, in their flashing, screeching manner; a train was crossing the bridge and the noise of it came far down the river and a woman was washing herself in the cold river. Everything was struggling to live, a battle for its very life and there is always death, to struggle every moment of life and then to die. But between the rising of the sun and its setting behind the walls of the city, time consumed all life, time past and present ate man's heart away; he existed in time and so knew sorrow.
But the village men walking behind along the narrow path beside the river, strung out one by one, somehow were part of the man walking in front; there were eight of them and the old man directly behind was coughing and spitting all the time and the others were more or less walking silently. The man that was in front was aware of them, their silence, their coughs, their weariness after a long day; they were not agitated but quiet and if anything cheerful. He was aware of them as he was aware of the glowing river, of the gentle fire of the sky and the birds coming back to their home; there was no centre from which he was seeing, feeling, observing; all these imply the word, thought. There was no thought but only these things. They were all walking fast and time had ceased to be; those villagers were going back home to their hovels and the man was going with them; they were part of him, not that he was aware of them as being a part. They were flowing with the river, flying with the birds and were as open and wide as the sky. It was a fact and not imagination; imagination is a shoddy thing and fact is a burning reality. All those nine were walking endlessly, going nowhere and coming from nowhere; it was an endless procession of life. Time and all identity had ceased, strangely. When the man in front turned to walk back, all the villagers, especially the old man who was so close, just behind him, saluted as though they were age long friends. It was getting dark, the swallows had gone; there were lights on the long bridge and the trees were withdrawing into themselves. Far away a temple bell was ringing.
7th There is a little canal, about a foot wide, that goes between the green fields of wheat. There is a path along it and you can walk along it for quite a while, without meeting a soul. That evening it was particularly quiet; there was a fat jay with startlingly bright blue wings that was having a drink in that canal; it was fawn coloured, with those sparkling blue wings; it wasn't one of those scolding jays; you could approach it fairly close without being called names. It looked at you in wonderment and you looked at it with exploding affection; it was fat and comfortable and very beautiful. It waited to see what you would do and when you did nothing, it grew calmer and presently flew away without a cry. You had met in that bird all the birds ever brought into being; it was that explosion that did it. It was not a well planned, thought-out explosion; it just happened with an intensity and fury whose very shock stopped all time. But you went along that narrow path, past a tree which had become the symbol of a temple, for there were flowers and a crudely painted image and the temple was a symbol of something else and that something else was also a vast symbol. Words, symbols, have become, like the flag, so frighteningly important. Symbols were ashes which fed the mind and the mind was barren and thought was born out of this waste. It was clever, inventive, as all things are which come out of arid nothingness. But the tree was splendid, full of leaves, sheltering many birds; the earth around was swept and kept clean; they had built a mud platform around the tree and on it was the image, leaning against the thick trunk. The leaf was perishable and the stone image was not; it would endure, destroying minds.
8th The early morning sun was on the water, shimmering, almost blinding the eyes; a fisherman's boat was crossing that brilliant path and there was a slight fog among the trees, on the opposite bank. The river is never still, there is always a movement, a dance of countless steps and this morning it was very alive, making the trees, the bushes heavy and dull, except the birds which were calling, singing, and the parrots as they screeched by. These parrots lived in the tamarind tree beside the house and they would be coming and going all day, restless in their flight. Their light green bodies shone in the sun and their red curving beaks were brighter as they flashed by. Their flight was fast and sharp and you could see them among the green leaves if you looked carefully, and once there they became clumsy and not so noisy as on their flight. It was early but all the birds had been out long before the sun was on the water. Even at that hour the river was awake with the light of the heavens and meditation was a sharpening of the immensity of the mind; the mind is never asleep, never completely unaware; patches of it were, here and there sharpened by conflict and pain, made dull by habit and passing satisfaction, and every pleasure left a mark of longing. But all these darkened passages left no space for the totality of the mind. These became enormously important and always breeding more immediate significance and the immensity is put aside for the little, the immediate. The immediate is the time of thought and thought can never resolve any issue except the mechanical. But meditation is not the way of the machine; it can never be put together to get somewhere; it is not the boat to cross to the other side. There is no shore, no arriving and, like love, it has no motive. It is endless movement whose action is in time but not of time. All action of the immediate, of time, is the ground of sorrow; nothing can grow on it except conflict and pain. But meditation is the awareness of this ground and choicelessly never letting a seed take root, however pleasant and however painful. Meditation is the passing away of experience. And then only is there clarity whose freedom is in seeing. Meditation is a strange delight not to be bought on the market; no guru or disciple can ever be of it; all following and leading have to cease as easily and naturally as a leaf drops to the ground.
The immeasurable was there, filling the little space and all space; it came as gently as the breeze comes over the water but thought could not hold it and the past, time, was not capable of measuring it.
9th Across the river, smoke was going up in a straight column; it was a simple movement bursting into the sky. There wasn't a breath of air; there wasn't a ripple on the river and every leaf was still; the parrots were the only noisy movement as they flashed by. Even the little fisherman's boat did not disturb the water; everything seemed to have frozen in stillness, except the smoke. Even though it was going so straight up in the sky there was a certain gaiety in it and freedom of total action. And beyond the village and the smoke was the glowing sky of the evening. It had been a cool day and the sky had been open and there was the light of a thousand winters; it was short, penetrating and expansive; it went with you everywhere, it wouldn't leave you. Like perfume, it was in the most unexpected places; it seemed to have entered into the most secret corners of one's being. It was a light that left no shadow and every shadow lost its depth; because of it, all substance lost its density; it was as though you looked through everything, through the trees on the other side of the wall, through your own self. Your self was as opaque as the sky and as open. It was intense and to be with it was to be passionate, not the passion of feeling or desire, but a passion that would never wither or die. It was a strange light, it exposed everything and made vulnerable, and what had no protection was love. You couldn't be what you were, you were burnt out, without leaving any ashes and unexpectedly there was not a thing but that light.
12th There was a little girl of ten or twelve leaning against a post in the garden; she was dirty, her hair had not been washed for many weeks, it was dusty and uncombed; her clothes were torn and unwashed too, like herself. She had a long rag around her neck and she was looking at some people who were having tea on the verandah; she looked with complete indifference, without any feeling, without any thought of what was going on; her eyes were on the group downstairs and every parrot that screeched by made no impression on her nor those soft earth-coloured doves that were so close to her. She was not hungry, she was probably a daughter of one of the servants for she seemed familiar with the place and fairly well-fed. She held herself as though she was a grown-up young lady, full of assurance and there was about her a strange aloofness. As you watched her against the river and the trees, you suddenly felt you were watching the tea party, without any emotion, without any thought, totally indifferent to everything and to whatever might happen. And when she walked away to that tree overlooking the river, it was you that was walking away, it was you that sat on the ground, dusty and rough; it was you who picked up the piece of stick and threw it over the bank, alone, unsmiling and never cared for. Presently you got up and wandered off around the house. And strangely, you were the doves, the squirrel that raced up the tree and that unwashed, dirty chauffeur and the river that went by, so quietly. Love is not sorrow nor is it made up of jealousy but it is dangerous for it destroys. It destroys everything that man has built around himself except bricks. It cannot build temples nor reform the rotting society; it can do nothing, but without it nothing can be done, do what you will. Every computer and automation can alter the shape of things and give man leisure which will become another problem when there are already so many problems. Love has no problem and that is why it is so destructive and dangerous. Man lives by problems, those unresolved and continuous things; without them, he wouldn't know what to do; he would be lost and in the losing gain nothing. So problems multiply endlessly; in the resolving of the one there is another, but death, of course, is destruction; it is not love. Death is old age, disease and the problems which no computer can solve. It is not the destruction that love brings; it is not the death that love brings. It is the ashes of a fire that has been carefully built up and it is the noise of automatic machines that go on working without interruption. Love, death, creation are inseparable; you cannot have one and deny the others; you cannot buy it on the market or in any church; these are the last places where you would find it. But if you don't look and if you have no problems, not one, then perhaps it might come when you are looking the other way.
It is the unknown, and everything you know must burn itself away, without leaving ashes; the past, rich or sordid, must be left as casually, without any motive as that girl throwing a stick over the bank. The burning of the known is the action of the unknown. Far away a flute is playing not too well and the sun is setting, a great big red ball behind the walls of the town, and the river is the colour of gentle fire and every bird is coming in for the night.
13th Dawn was just coming and already, every bird seemed to be awake, calling, singing, endlessly repeating one or two notes; the crows were the loudest. There were so many of them, cawing to each other and you had to listen with care to catch the notes of other birds. The parrots were already screeching in their flight, flashing by and in that pale light their lovely green was already splendid. Not a leaf was stirring and the river was running silver, wide, expansive, deep with the night; the night had done something to it; it had become richer, deep with the earth and inseparable; it was alive with an intensity that was destructive in its purity. The other bank was still asleep, the trees and the wide green stretches of wheat were still mysterious and quiet and far away a temple bell was ringing, without music. Everything was beginning to wake up now, shouting with the coming sun. Every caw was more loud and every screech and the colour of every leaf and flower, and strong was the smell of the earth. The sun came over the leaves of trees and made a golden path across the river. It was a beautiful morning and its beauty would remain, not in memory; memory is shoddy; it is a dead thing and memory can never hold beauty or love. It destroys them. It is mechanical, having its use, but beauty is not of memory. Beauty is always new but the new has no relationship with the old, which is of time. 14th****** The moon was quite young yet it gave enough light for shadows; there were plenty of shadows and they were very still. Along that narrow path, every shadow seemed to be alive, whispering amongst themselves, every shadowy leaf chattering to its neighbour. The shape of the leaf and the heavy trunk were clear on the ground and the river down below was of silver; it was wide, silent and there was a deep current which left no mark on the surface. Even the afternoon breeze had died and there were no clouds to gather around the setting sun; higher up in the sky, there was a solitary rose-coloured whisper of a cloud that remained motionless till it disappeared into the night. Every tamarind and mango was withdrawing for the night and all the birds were silent, taking shelter, deep among the leaves. A little owl was sitting on the telegraph wire and just when you were below it, it flew off on those extraordinary silent wings. After delivering milk, the cycles were coming back, the empty tins rattling; there were so many of them, single or in groups, but for all their chatter and noise that peculiar silence of the open country and immense sky remained. That evening nothing could disturb it, not even a goods train crossing the steel bridge. There is a little path to the right wandering among the green fields and as you walk on it, far away from everything, from faces, tears, suddenly, you are aware that something is taking place. You know it is not imagination, desire, taking to some fancy or to some forgotten experience or the revival of some pleasure and hope; you know well it is none of these things; you have been through this examination before and you brush all these aside, swiftly with a gesture and you are aware something is taking place. It is as unexpected as that big bull that comes through the darkening evening; it is there with insistency and immensity, that otherness, which no word or symbol can catch; it is there filling the sky and the earth and every little thing in it. You and that little villager who without a word,passes you by, are of it. At that timeless time, only there is that immensity, neither thought nor feeling and the brain utterly quiet. All meditative sensitivity is over, only that incredible purity is there. It is the purity of strength, impenetrable and unapproachable but it was there. Everything stood still, there was no movement, no stir and even the sound of the whistle of the train was in the stillness. It accompanied you as you walked back to your room and it was there, too, for it had never left you.
16th With the heavily-laden camel, we all crossed the new bridge across the little stream, the cyclists, the village women returning from town, a mangy dog and an old man with a long, white beard and haughty. The old, rickety bridge was taken away and there was this new bridge, made of heavy poles, bamboos, straw and mud; it was strongly built and the camel didn't hesitate to cross it; it was haughtier than the old man, its head right up in the air, disdainful and rather smelly. We all went over the bridge and most of the villagers went down along the river and the camel went the other way. It was a dusty path, fine dry clay and the camel left a big wide imprint and couldn't be coaxed to walk along any faster than it wanted to; it was carrying sacks of grain and it seemed so utterly indifferent to everything; it went past the ancient well and ruined temples and its driver his best to make it walk faster, slapping it with his bare hands. There is another path that turns off to the right, past the flowering yellow mustard, flowering peas and rich green wheat fields; this path is not used much and it is pleasant to walk along there. The mustard had a slight smell but the pea was a little stronger, and the wheat, which was beginning to form its ear, had its own smell too and the combination of the three filled the evening air with a fragrance that was not too strong, pleasant but unobtrusive. It was a beautiful evening, with the setting sun behind the trees; on that path you were far away from anywhere, though there were scattered villages all around but you were far away and nothing could come near you. It was not in space, time or distance; you were far away and there was no measure. The depth was not in fathoms; there was a depth that had no height, no circumference. An occasional village passed you by, carrying the few meagre things that he had bought in town and as he went by, almost touching you, had not come near you. You were far away, in some unknown world that had no dimension; even if you wanted to know, you couldn't know it. It was too far away from the known; it had no relationship with the known. It wasn't a thing you experience; there was nothing to be experienced, and besides all experiencing is always in the field of the known, recognized by that which has been. You were far away, immeasurably far, but the trees, the yellow flowers and the ear of the wheat were astonishingly close, closer than your thought and marvellously alive, with intensity and beauty that could never wither. Death, creation and love were there and you didn't know which was which and you were part of it; they were not separate, something to be divided and argued over. They were inseparable, closely interrelated, not the relationship of word and action, expression. Thought could not shape it, nor feeling cover it, these are too mechanical, too slow, having their roots in the known. Imagination is within their ground and could never come near. Love, death, creation was a fact, an actual reality, as the body they were burning on the river-bank under the tree. The tree, the fire and the tears were real, were undeniable facts but they were the actualities of the known and the freedom of the known, and in that freedom those three are - inseparable. But you have to go very far and yet be very near.
The man on the bicycle was singing in a rather hoarse and tired voice, coming back with the rattling empty milk- cans from the city; he was eager to talk to someone and as he passed by he said something, hesitated, recovered and went on. The moon was casting shadows now, dark and almost transparent ones and the smell of the night was deepening. And around the bend of the path was the river; it seemed to be lighted from within, with a thousand candles; the light was soft with silver and pale gold and utterly still, bewitched by the moon. Pleiades was overhead and Orion was well up in the sky and a train was puffing up the grade to cross the bridge. Time had stopped and beauty was there with love and death. And on the new bamboo bridge there was no one, not even a dog. The little stream was full of stars.
20th It was long before dawn, a clear starlit sky; there was a slight mist over the river and the bank on the other side was just visible; the train was chugging up the grade to cross the bridge; it was a goods train and these trains always puff up the incline in a special way, long, slow strokes of heavy puffs, unlike the passengers [trains], who have quick short bursts and are on the bridge almost immediately. This goods train, in that vast silence, made a rattling roar, more noisy than ever before but nothing seemed to disturb that silence in which all movements were lost. It was an impenetrable silence, clear, strong, penetrating; there was an urgency which no time could gather. The pale star was clear and the trees were dark in their sleep. Meditation was the awareness of all these things and the going beyond all these and time. The movement in time is thought and thought cannot go beyond its own bondage to time and is never free. Dawn was coming over the trees and the river, a pale sign as yet but the stars were losing their brilliancy and already there was a call of the morning, a bird in a tree quite close by. But that immense silence still persisted and it would always be there, though the birds and the noise of man would continue.
* He was now in Benares and was recalling the source of the Ganges which he had once visited. He stayed at Rajghat, just north of Benares, on the banks of the Ganges, where there is a Krishnamurti School. The Indians call Benares: Benaras or Varanasi.
** Although Rajghat is north of Benares it is downstream, for the river curves north-east at this point before flowing south again.
*** On this day he gave the first of seven talks at Rajghat.
**** The pilgrims' path runs-through the Rajghat estate, linking Kashi with Sarnath where the Buddha preached his first sermon after Enlightenment.
***** These villagers were Moslems.
****** He gave the last of his seven talks that morning.